This post is a personal addendum to our earlier post about a discussion amongst readers of another design blog about whether one designer had copied or “borrowed” another designer’s idea. We certainly didn’t mean to imply that the second designer copied the first, because those things are impossible to know, and he may well not have, and in any case his design diverged significantly from hers. Anyway, here’s a trivial case from our own experience, and it’s just one among many. It’s about army blanket pillows, which we had thought were our exclusive idea but which of course were not.
We hadn’t seen the others until ours began to get some press, and then we realized other people were making them too. Who came first? Do others think we’re copycats, or are they copycats, or is affordable army surplus just in the air, like the warfare version of Depression-Era Chic? It’s nearly impossible to know, and anyway the very idea of pure originality is suspect. Design is a fertile field of rampant cross-pollination, and we hope it remains a fertile field rather than a minefield of intellectual property rights. In any case, as they say, there’s nothing new under the sun. Click below to follow our design process. The photograph at very top is from here – we think the pillows pictured are probably by Red Barn. Directly above, one of our favourite photos, bench pillows from Italian Elle Decor, Summer 2004. Below, pillows by us.
PS You can make your own army blanket pillows. We’ll post a DIY soon. In the meantime, check out your local army surplus for blankets or look here. Our story about why we decided to make these pillows, below.